My old man lives here. He bought a bach about seven years ago near Sunset Beach, which we all refer to as ‘Port.’ As a child, I holidayed at the local camping ground for close to 20 years but now Dad’s place has become its own mini campsite for the summer holidays. It’s religion for my siblings and me and all our kids to pitch tents on his lawn.

Port is at the mouth of the Waikato River and there are sand dunes that make you feel like you’re in the desert, a great surf beach and good fishing spots, too. The kids can ride freely on their bikes and we enjoy boogie board trips, fish and chip trips, ice cream trips...

I got married there in 2012 which was fantastically laid back. I love the roughness of Port. I love observing out-of-towners turn up in the summer not wearing jandals and burning the soles of their feet on the hot black sand.

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Reported by Monica Tischler for our AA Directions Autumn 2021 issue

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